Uriah Heep Records [Release date 08.09.17]
One for hard rock and prog fans – you really can’t beat a bit of Uriah Heep. Really. Especially when it’s a well recorded live show. Even more so when it plugs a nice hole in the collection.
This 20th anniversary show was recorded In 1989, and originally released on VHS, with a bonus Chris Tetley interview released on a picture disc. And here it is. Glorious.
Touring in support of their 17th studio album ‘The Raging Silence’, this saw the debut with Canadian vocalist Bernie Shaw and the start of the long lived classic line-up of Shaw, pianist Phil Lanzon, drummer Lee Kerslake and bassist Trevor Bolder all next to the ever present (ever grinning) guitarist Mick Box.
Recorded in London to an enthusiastic crowd, the set kicks off with ‘Bad Bad Man’ and ‘Cry Freedom’, both from ‘Raging Silence’ which go down well. The familiar ‘Stealin’ is introduced as “One you might know” and the bass/keyboards intro gets the crowd clapping along. The song builds into one of Heep’s best and best known songs, and classic it is too.
‘Too Scared To Run’ is more uptempo with some quite heavy and frenetic guitar work, and the single ‘Blood Red Roses’ (much more melodic) gets a work through, showcasing Shaw’s vocal range and power.
The latter half of the set moves more towards the older songs (I won’t use the cliché of classics here, because they’re all good, and those who purely hark after the old material for any band really annoy me).
That said, ‘July Morning’ gets a huge cheer, 10 minutes of magic. Shaw here is already adept at talking to the audience, some nice touches. A nine minute ‘Gypsy’ is opened with a decent guitar solo, the rhythm section handle it as deftly as if it were recorded yesterday and Lanzon’s keyboards are spot on. The surprise hit ‘Easy Livin’ is a real blast and is shot through here at high speed and power.
The 14 track set closes with a 12 minute ‘Look At Yourself’, one of Heep’s best, and includes a crowd/band interplay segment and a bit of a jam too.
The album closes with that aforementioned Chris Tetley interview, recorded on the day of the show, which (along with the DVD) makes for a complete show and package.
Worth anyone’s money. *****
Review by Joe Geesin
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